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Q&A with Student Artist-in-Residence Brennan Wojtyla

Q&A with Student Artist-in-Residence Brennan Wojtyla

December 1, 2022 // by MOCA Staff

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Brennan Wojtyla is a transdisciplinary artist and graphic design major at the University of North Florida. Wojtyla is heavily interested in utilitarian industrial artifacts and decontextualizing them into formalist pieces. Working with industrial processes as opposed to traditional artistic techniques, Wojtyla introduces questions about labor and traditional art. During his residency, he will be continuing his series "Cathedral of Labor," drawing attention to everyday details of contemporary metropolitan living that are frequently overlooked by introducing them in a place of contemplation and focus with mixed media assemblages and sculptural artifacts.


 

How did you learn about the student artist-in-residence position, and what made you want to apply?

The student AIR position has been discussed in my sculpture classes among students. The ability to have a studio space, access to resources such as staff and tools, as well as the opportunity to share my ideas that I have been developing for a while with the community and peers made me incredibly interested in applying. I hope to expand peoples' thoughts of what can hold artistic merit.


What do you hope to get out of this opportunity

With the resources allotted to me in this unique program, I hope to expand my work and develop concepts further. As my work deals a lot with context and concept, it is going to be great to have the ability to place these pieces and artifacts in a gallery space.

 

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© CELESTE BOURSIER-MOUGENOT, harmonichaos 2.1, 2006. 6 vacuum cleaners, each outfitted with one tuner, one harmonica and one lightbulb, overall dimensions variable. Installation view at MOCA Jacksonville, N JUNE 3, 2017 - SEPTEMBER 24, 2017.


Have you used MOCA as a resource before?

Growing up in Jacksonville and being interested in art from a very early age brought me to MOCA several times in my formative years. There was one piece...it was a room full of vacuums with harmonicas attached to them. This was one of the most important pieces I saw in my life, and it was here in Jacksonville at MOCA.


How would you describe your work?

My work has a base in industrial processes and contemporary urban living. By taking elements seen in our daily lives and placing them into a place of observance and analysis, I hope to introduce questions about our surroundings and what can be labeled "art." This can be a concrete wall, a cinderblock, curb markings, debris, and other artifacts of modern living and human intervention. Context and decontextualization are very important to me as well, taking an industrial form or process and using it in a way void of its original purpose. Stripping away its functionality into solid form.


What is your favorite thing about creating artwork?

My favorite thing about creating artwork is the process. The act and labor of creating the work is where I find the most enjoyment. It is most rewarding when you have a vision, you problem solve, and then you execute to meet the expectations you set for yourself. Time spent in the studio working is extremely meditative for me. My working is labor. My labor is focused on my work, the physical time spend with a piece. It shows my grasping of concepts in an industrial setting.

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© Brennan Wojtyla, Enamel, photo transfer, insulation foam, paper, vinyl. 96 x 108 inches, 2021. Image courtesy of the artist.
compreseed bloc 1 (1)
© Brennan Wojtyla, Ceramic tile, mortar, concrete board, cinderblock. 13 x 11 x 45 inches, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist.
tiles 1
© Brennan Wojtyla, Latex paint, mortar, ceramic tile, wood, wall paper, cast iron. 24 x 48 inches, 2021. Image courtesy of the artist.

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